Free cooking classes are currently taking place at open markets across the city of Paris. For guests staying at the Hôtel Louvre Marsollier, this could be a unique way to discover the secrets behinds tasty French food.
Organized by the Paris city hall and a French association dedicated to amateur cooking — the FFCA (Fédération Française de Cuisine Amateur) — this event has been taking place for the last four years. This year, 30 dates at 30 different markets have been planned in order to demonstrate to inhabitants of Paris the joys of cooking.
Even for those who do not understand French, the demonstration of cooking techniques is both helpful and interesting simply to watch. Plus, it provides a unique activity for visitors who want to see how real Parisians live. Although they are geared towards amateurs, the cooking classes are nonetheless given by professional chefs and teachers, who have often come from the culinary schools in the areas around the markets where they are giving courses.
Since the courses do take place in markets, the students are assisted by the local merchants in choosing high quality, fresh ingredients. Then, the students take these ingredients to their courses, where they learn how to get the best out of them. The dished are prepared right on the spot, so participants can see how to transform the raw materials of the marketplace into delicious gourmet dishes. The dishes are also tasted right after they have been created, in order to judge the success of the students.
In 2013, the courses began in March and will be running throughout the summer all the way up until October. Those who wish to participate must sign up on the website of the FFCA (in French). Upcoming courses in July and September include cooking with leftover fruit at the Marché Baudoyer, cooking with kids at the Marché Berthier, and making meatballs at the Marché Saint Honoré. Even those who do not wish to participate directly in the course should take the opportunity to check out the course schedule and watch a course as it is being given.